It's a habit which has been drummed into us from an early age, but the recent news about flossing your teeth could be a waste of time has put the spotlight on oral hygiene.


When it comes to looking after our teeth, there are certain pieces of wisdom which we've incorporated into our routines.

But in the wake of the news about flossing, when it comes to oral hygiene, how much does your average person know about what we should be doing - and which habits do we need to ditch?

For example, how many of us know how long we SHOULD brush or teeth for and how often? And what are we doing wrong?

MirrorOnline spoke to the British Dental Association’s scientific adviser, Professor Damien Walmsley, who kindly put together this definitive list of "dos and don'ts."


How often? 多久刷一次牙?

"The best way to prevent tooth decay is to brush teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque, limit the frequency, and amount of sugary food and drinks consumed in your diet, and see the dentist regularly.

Don'ts 该避免的事:

1. Brush for long enough – research indicates that people only brush for 45 seconds
1. 刷牙时间不要太短。研究发现很多人刷牙只刷45秒左右。

2. Rinse the mouth after brushing – fluoride helps to prevent, control and even stop tooth decay – but rinsing the mouth out dilutes the concentration of fluoride, so SPIT, don’t rinse.
2. 刷牙后不要使劲漱口。氟化物能预防、控制甚至让龋洞停止进一步发展,但使劲漱口会稀释氟化物,所以直接吐出来就好了。

3. Brush too soon after eating – as enamel on teeth is softened after eating especially with sugary foods – it’s best to wait an hour before brushing which allows the tooth to harden up more.
3. 进食后切勿立马刷牙。进食后——尤其是吃了甜食后——牙釉质会软化,所以最好过一个小时等待牙釉质恢复后再刷牙。

4. Use a hard bristle toothbrush as this can damage the soft tissues in the gums.
4. 别用硬毛牙刷。硬毛牙刷会伤害牙龈组织。

5. Don't brush too hard – the bristles should lightly sweep the tooth.
5. 刷牙不要太使劲。刷毛应该轻轻扫过牙齿。


Dos 应该做的事:

1. Brush for at least two minutes, twice daily, with a fluoridated toothpaste
1. 每天至少用含氟牙膏刷牙两次,每次刷两分钟。

2. Brush last thing at night and at least on one other occasion
2. 临睡前再刷牙。

3. Use a small headed toothbrush with medium bristles.
3. 最好用中等硬度刷毛的小头牙刷。

4. Put a pea-sized blob of fluoride toothpaste on your toothbrush.
4. 只需要挤豌豆大小的含氟牙膏在牙刷上。


5. Brush along the gum line as well as the teeth themselves
5. 刷牙齿之外也要沿着牙龈线刷一下。

6. Brush all surfaces of the teeth, including the outer, inner and chewing surfaces as well as the hard-to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns or other restorations.
6. 牙齿每一面都要清洁到,包括牙齿外面、里面和咀嚼面,别忘了刷难以够到的后槽牙和包括填充物和牙冠在内的修复牙体周围。

If you have spaces between teeth, it is best to clean these with an interdental or single-tufted brush. Where the spaces between teeth are too tight to fit such a brush, use dental floss or tape.


7. If you are unsure about the effectiveness of brushing, use disclosing tablets after brushing to highlight any areas you may have missed.
7. 如果刷牙后你还不放心,不妨用一点牙菌斑显露片,可以帮助你找到没刷干净的地方。

There is good evidence that a small-headed counter oscillating electric toothbrush helps in removing dental plaque but they must be used correctly and your dentist or hygienist will advise.


Plaque 牙菌斑

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that covers your teeth and gums. It develops constantly and you clean it off every day when you brush your teeth. Certain harmful oral bacteria feed on the sugars you eat to create acids that destroy the tooth enamel.

Cavities are a bacterial infection created by acids, that cause your teeth to experience a hole in them.

The more sugar you eat, the more acid you will create in your mouth, and the more acidic attacks your teeth are exposed to, the higher the risk of developing tooth decay.